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For years the opening of “The Wide World of Sports” television program illustrated “the agony of defeat” with a painful ending to an attempted ski jump. The skier appeared in good form as he headed down the jump, but then, for no apparent reason, he tumbled head over heels off the side of the jump, bouncing off the supporting structure.


What viewers didn’t know was that he chose to fall rather than finish the jump. Why? The jump surface had become too fast and, midway down the ramp, he realized that if he completed the jump, he would land on the level ground, beyond the safe sloping landing area, which could have been fatal.


As it was, the skier suffered no more than a headache from the tumble. To change one’s course in life can be a dramatic and sometimes painful undertaking, but change is better than a fatal landing at the end.

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